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Cover image for Hope was here
Hope was here




Publication Information:
New York, NY : G.P. Putnam's Sons, ©2000.
Physical Description:
186 pages ; 22 cm
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG 5.1 6.

AR 5.1 6.0 pt.


Call Number
Bauer, J.

On Order



Readers fell in love with teenage waitress Hope Yancey when Joan Bauer's Newbery Honor--winning novel was published ten years ago. Now, with a terrific new jacket and note from the author, Hope's story will inspire a new group of teen readers.

Author Notes

Joan Bauer is the author of numerous books for young readers including Soar; Rules of the Road, which received the L.A. Times Book Prize; Hope Was Here, which won a Newbery Honor Medal and the Christopher Award; and Close to Famous, which won the Christopher Award and the Schneider Family Book Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Joan Bauer's story (Putnam, 2000) of 16-year-old Hope Yancey's discovery of fatherly love, romance, community, and her own inner resources comes to life in actress Jenna Lamia's youthful reading. Hope, raised by her peripatetic diner cook Aunt Addie since her mother deserted her at birth, changed her own name from the regrettable Tulip to the perfectly apropos Hope when she was 12. Now Hope and her aunt have moved once again, this time to a small Wisconsin town where the local diner owner is fighting leukemia and, upon their arrival, takes on dirty politics as well. Like Bauer's other heroines, Hope is both strong and a bit uncertain, her story tinted with good humor and touched by pathos. Hope slowly comes to accept the small Wisconsin town as home, other diner staff as family, and the owner as the father she might have had. Braverman, the cook's assistant, makes a perfect first boyfriend, being neither weaker than Hope nor less sensitive. Lamia voices these characters perfectly as they discuss the menu specials, civic corruption, and the inevitable resurgence of cancer in G. T. Stoop's blood. Bauer's story is a delight, and this audio presentation enhances it.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Of this tale of a 16-year-old waitress who searches for a sense of belonging, PW said that the prose, "often rich in metaphor, brings Hope's surroundings and her emotions to life. Readers are likely to gobble this up like so much comfort food." Ages 10-14. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

(Middle School, High School) ""You think all teenagers care about are musicians and movie stars?"" Then have a listen to Hope, the latest of Joan Bauer's strong, kind, and funny heroines. The value of work has always been one of Bauer's consistent themes, and Hope takes great pride in her job: she's a short-order waitress who has come from Brooklyn with her aunt Addie to run a small-town diner in Wisconsin, its proprietor sidelined by leukemia. Hope, now sixteen, has lived with Addie since being left by her mother, who, in addition to having more of a gift for waitressing than she did for motherhood, had the dubious taste to name her daughter Tulip, which Hope changed as soon as she hit twelve. Addie and Hope, long peripatetic, find a new life in Wisconsin as well as a cause: G.T., the owner of the diner, has decided to take on the corrupt Eli Millstone, challenging his long incumbency as mayor. The nasty mayoris something of a stereotype (think of Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life) as are some of the other characters, but because the whole book seems larger than life, broad strokes on a broad canvas, its personalities are necessarily outsized. Too, there's quite a bit of preaching, but most of it comes from Hope herself, building her character as much as our own. Not that she always takes her own advice. After telling another waitress her mother's Number One Cardinal Rule of Waitress Survival-""DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, DATE THE COOK""-Hope does anyway, and her tentative romance with Braverman is sweet indeed. Hope is a strong girl in a strong story, its humor warm and real. r.s. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Another entry in Bauer's growing collection of books about likable and appealing female teenagers with a strong vocational calling. Ivy Breedlove in Backwater (1999) is a historian, Jenna Boller in Rules of the Road (1998) is a talented salesperson, and Hope Yancey's gift is for waitressing. As the novel begins, Hope, 16, and her aunt Addie are about to move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, where Addie will manage and cook for a diner called the Welcome Stairways. Hope, whose mother abandoned her as an infant and who has never known her father, is pretty well-adjusted, all things considered. She throws herself into her new life in the small town, working on the grassroots mayoral campaign of the diner's owner, quickly acquiring a boyfriend and friends, and proving herself to be a stellar waitress (she's been working in restaurants most of her life, after all, and one of the few things her mother has given her is a list of waitressing tips). Despite having moved so often and having had such inadequate biological parents, Hope isn't afraid to connect to people. The relationship between Hope and G.T., the man who owns the diner and who eventually marries her aunt is especially touching and sweetly portrayed. He's everything Hope ever wished for in a father. It could be said that the occupation of waitressing is over-idealized; it's portrayed as the noblest of professions. But the lessons she's learned from the job are essential to Hope's character and a part of why the plot develops as it does. More important, and as always from Bauer, this novel is full of humor, starring a strong and idealistic protagonist, packed with funny lines, and peopled with interesting and quirky characters. (Fiction. 11-16) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-9. Ever since her mother left, Hope has, with her comfort-food-cooking aunt Addie, been serving up the best in diner food from Pensacola to New York City. Moving has been tough, so it comes as a surprise to 16-year-old Hope that rural Wisconsin, where she and her aunt have now settled, offers more excitement, friendship, and even romance (for both Hope and Addie) than the big city. In this story, Bauer has recycled some charming devices from her popular Rules of the Road (1998): Jenna's road rules have become the Best-of-Mom tips for waitressing; the disappearing parent is Hope's irresponsible mom; and the villains are politicians, not corporate America. Like Bauer's other heroines, Hope is a typical teenage girl who works hard, excels at her part-time job, and plans for her future. The adults around her, though mostly one-dimensional, together create a microcosm of society--the best and the worst of a teenager's support system. It's Bauer's humor that supplies, in Addie's cooking vernacular, the yeast that makes the story rise above the rest, reinforcing the substantive issues of honesty, humanity, and the importance of political activism. Serve this up to teens--with a dash of hope. --Frances Bradburn